Dino-killing asteroid punctured Earth’s crust: Study

Asteroid that killed dinosaurs about 65 million years ago may have punctured the Earth's crust

By: PTI | Houston | Published:November 23, 2016 10:46 am
Asteroid, Earth, Asteroid killing dinosaurs, asteroid impact Earth, asteroid's Earth evolution, extinction level event, asteroid craters, asteroid craters on earth, crater peak rings, science, science news Asteroid impact is thought to have ended the age of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. (Representational image)

The asteroid that ended the age of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago may have nearly punctured the Earth’s crust, and temporarily caused the surface of the planet to behave like a slow-moving fluid, a new study has found. The findings may shed light on how such impacts can reshape the face of planets and generate new habitats for life, researchers said.

Major craters sometimes possess rings of rocky hills in their centres known as peak rings. Most of these peak rings exist on extraterrestrial rocky bodies such as the Moon or Venus, making it difficult to analyse these structures in detail and pin down their origins.

To learn more about peak rings, scientists from University of Texas at Austin in the US studied the gargantuan Chicxulub crater in Mexico, which measures more than 180 kilometers across. It is the only crater with an intact peak ring on Earth.

The crater resulted from the epic crash of an object about 10 kilometre wide, and the resulting impact is thought to have ended the age of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

Researchers examined peak ring samples from under 18 metres of water in the Gulf of Mexico. They discovered granite that likely once was deeply buried for about 500 million years, said Sean Gulick, a marine geophysicist at UT Austin.

Read: BODIPY: This glow-in-the-dark dye may power cars in future

“These deeply buried rocks rose up to the surface of the Earth within the first few minutes of the impact,” Gulick told the ‘Live Science’.

After the impact, “the earth there would have temporarily behaved like a slow-moving fluid,” Gulick said. “The stony asteroid would have opened up a hole probably almost the thickness of Earth’s crust, almost 30 km deep, and on the order of 80 to 100 km wide,” he added.

For all the latest Technology News, download Indian Express App

  1. T
    Tanya dutta
    Nov 26, 2016 at 2:00 pm
    Is it true?
    Reply
    1. J
      Jeevathma
      Nov 23, 2016 at 8:52 am
      WS
      Reply
      1. G
        G Srinivasan
        Nov 23, 2016 at 7:09 am
        The Earth orbit around the Sun shifts from a maximum of 216 times the Solar radius to 213 in about 65 million years. At 216 the gravity potential on earth reduces by about 1.25 times thereby enabling genetic molecules to enlarge in a self similar way to many times the present volume. At 216 level the climatic conditions too would be different . We are now on inward return to 213 level and genetic volumes have reduced thereby making larger genetic molecules extinct. This is predicted mathematically in the Vedas and in Sankhya and it is presented in www kapillavastu dot com through tje only axiomatic theory in existence
        Reply
        1. S
          Subir Mandal
          Nov 23, 2016 at 10:46 am
          To the Knowledge
          Reply